11 June 2018 - New psychoactive substances (NPS) continue to present a challenge to public health, forensic science and law enforcement. Raising awareness on these substances and fostering collaboration are fundamental in mitigating the harms associated with NPS use.
In this context, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency, ANVISA (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária), recently hosted a three-day regional meeting in Brasília, in coordination with UNODC's Laboratory and Scientific Section (LSS).
Attending the event were over 70 national, regional and international participants with expertise ranging from forensic science and public health to law enforcement. Participants discussed, among other things, NPS trends, the detection and identification of these substances, early warning systems and legal approaches.
Rafael Franzini Batlle, UNODC Representative in Brazil, said: "Dealing with the growing number of substances is challenging for health services and law enforcement officers. Governments in the Western Hemisphere are looking beyond the existing tool kits and are embarking on innovative approaches, including early warning systems and new legislative approaches."
Fernanda Maciel Rebelo of ANVISA highlighted that the Agency "renews its commitment to strengthen the work with UNODC and to foster continuity of discussion related to NPS, ultimately to protect public health." She described the joint efforts between ANVISA and the Brazilian Federal Police as dynamic, noting it would correspond with the fast pace of emerging substances and crime.